"Amusing" "Technopoly": Neil Postman's Critique of Digital Norm Entrepreneurs
Nicholas Negroponte's "Being Digital" foisted on an expanding techno-culture the idea of boundless techno-proliferation. Postman engages Negroponte and I demonstrate that Postman was fairly consistant if not accurate about how digital "norm entrepreneurs" narcissisticaly built socio-cultural "norms" which accelerated digital acceptance and essentially created the dot com boom of the 1990s. Postman's warnings about the effects of uncritical embrace of technology, especially in learning and intellectual environments, is an interesting contrast to the digital propogandization many unwittingly accepted. American higher education's struggle with counterfeit term papers--made instantly available by unscroupulous digital entrepreneurs--and students' rejection of non-digital sources of information or reading--thus contracting their intellectual universe while substituting a passive visual medium for intellectual work--is a serious corrosive on the intellectual enterprise.
Keywords: Neil Postman, Nicholas Negroponte, norm entrepreneurs, cultural encounter
Professor Brian Champion
Political Science Librarian and Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Chair, Social Sciences/Education Department